(Closed) How do you budget?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Look into Mint.com. It’s very safe and has helped me a ton. and it will track spending from multiple accounts in one place.

My Fiance is the same as yours. It’s only money, he’ll make more. And he doesn’t really balance his accounts or pay attention to how much money goes to what

But I budget by category (through mint) and once I spend so much going out to eat, I don’t go out for the rest of the month.

It will be a compromise once we share finances of me loosening up a little and him reeling it in a bit.

Post # 4
Member
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis? We pretty much live like your FI… we don’t budget at all. We know how much we have coming in and what bills we have going out. It’s probably not the best system but it’s worked thus far. I’d like to crack down and be a bit stricter when it comes to our money so that we can maximize our savings.

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? I don’t really know how to answer this. We pay our bills with the money that we have in the bank. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck so there’s always money left over at the end of the week.

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? We have savings accounts (we each have our own and then we have a joint savings) all of which have money in them but we keep a cushion in our checking account.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?  We know what our financial situation looks like at any given time and we spend according to what we have to spare. Some months are tighter than others but we’re always able to splurge at least a little something whenever we want to.

And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? We actually haven’t used a credit card in over 5 years. We had them years ago, racked up enough debt (under $3k but that’s still a LOT to me), paid it off and haven’t touched the cards since. We just got new CapitalOne cards so that we could start charging some stuff to boost our credit scores. We’re hopefully going to be buying a house in the next year so having an open credit line will help with that. Our plan is to charge gas and groceries and pay off the full balance every month. I personally wouldn’t be okay with carrying over a balance and having to make payments. 

Post # 5
Member
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis?

Both. We set up a budget for the month together. The Fiance can’t seem to get into a monthly budget, so we break it down for him so that he can see what the goal should be for the week. We do the quickie version and just divide the monthly amount by 4 or 5.

 

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week?


We both get paid once at the beginning of the month, so we pay all of our bills the first week of the month. I purposefully set up my bills to be due early in the month so that the money isn’t just sitting in our account. 


Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings?

No, I am very much a “zero out” type of person. If it’s in my checking account, I will feel like I am able to spend it, so I move a set amout to a joined savings account labeled “Oh Sh*t Fund” as a cushion. Anything left over at the end of the month gets moved there too, so we end up with a close to zero checking account. 

 

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?

We use 50-20-30, which works well for us. That’s:

50% needs (rent, groceries, utilities, gas, car payments, student loans, etc).

20% savings (dedicated short term savings for car, house, etc, as well as 401(k) and other long term accounts).

30% for wants. This is also further divided into 10% for us, 10% me, 10% him. This is for the joint fun stuff we do, as well as my person clothes, or his personal electronics. 

This works well for us, but might not work well for everyone. 


And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? 

Yes, I hate credit card debt with a passion and will try my hardest not to carry a balance over $100. 

Post # 6
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis? We have a weekly budget for anything beyond the normal bills (although we are not the best at sticking to it)

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? We pay all of our monthly bills when I get paid (I only get paid 1x a month). Even the utilities bills that have not come out yet, I still put in the checkbook as estimate of the $ amount. 

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? We have 3 months worth of all the essential bills saved (they recommend 6 months in your emergency fund but since there are 2 of us, we halved that… probably still should have 6 months but dont). I hate touching this money. We have more saved for other emergency items

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..? My Fiance is a spender so he gets a weekly allowance (that he struggles to stick to). I manage the $ and know if we are spending “more than we make” on whether I can purchase something for the house

And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? We pay our CC bill every week -have you considered this? I know you said your Fiance does not like to use his debit card. We put everything on the CC (and i mean everything, if I can pay with a CC, I do) because we have a rewards card. I then immediately pay if entirely off. Maybe this could be an option for you guys so you don’t get the CC bill and it’s high…? (well not high but you know what I mean)

Post # 7
Member
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Not yet married, but we are using the Dave Ramsey method. You really need to have 6 to 8 months emergency fund to help prevent “OH CRAP” moments from happening. When you have that cushion, life is much more peaceful. We will have a budget for variable items (clothing, gifts, transportation, food, other). That money will be taken out in cash EACH week and once it runs out THAT’S IT! Non-variable expenses obviously can’t be avoided. Savings and retirement are really important, but will be put on hold temporary once married to handle FH’s credit card and car loan. Dave Ramsey says “live like no one else so that you can live like no one else”. Don’t live in debt and you have freedom to do so much more. It starts with a change in attitude and getting on the same page… hold each other accountable.

Post # 8
Hostess
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis? We budget things out monthly.

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? I guess I just spend from the money we receive that month.

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? We keep a little in the savings connected to checking but most of our savings is far away from the checking account so it’s hard to get into.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?  We take any extra money after essentials and break it into the fun categories.  These can change monthly since you don’t always spend a lot on clothes.

And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? No we pretty much use credit for everything.  I know about how much I can put on the card in a month with our left over money.  I don’t like giving everyone access to my bank account, especially places like gas stations that impound $100 every time you charge even if you bill is 1/3 that.  We like to get the rewards from using our credit card.  You might want to write a fake check in your ledger and update it every time there is a purchase on your credit card so it looks like the money is already out of your account so you don’t have to worry about where to come up with it.

Post # 10
Member
2702 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis? My situation is kind of like yours but not as extreme. Darling Husband is a minimal spender. He buys things he needs. Nothing extra. For instance, we have old furniture in our living room with ugly chair covers. I would love new furniture, but Darling Husband think it is impractical to purchase already fine furniture.

Anyway, we budget on a monthly basis, sometimes more.

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? We are very much ahead of our bills. We know how much is coming in. For instance, we have a wedding at the end of June and we already budgeted for the $150 we will gift. We are going camping in July and those costs are already accounted for. So I could actually tell you how much money I have left when June 30th comes around. We budget and most of the time we under budget. There is always money left over. And of course there are expenses that come up unexpectedly.

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? For the most part we have a cushion in checking. We contribute an X amount to our savings each pay.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?  This is what I’m referring to from the first question. I haven’t really spent much on our house. I want to wait until we get new furntiure to do any serious decorating. The decor we have now I purchased. This was before we were even engaged and I had my own account. With what ever money is left over in our checking we use for entertainment, eating out, etc.

And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? We don’t really use our credit card that much. Only for major purchases like car repairs, tires, etc. But if we do have money left on our card we ALWAYS pay it off. We pay off our credit card every month

I know it’s really hard adjusting to combined finances. I’m still having a hard time adjusting and it’s been 7 months. But you will get used to your routine and eventually it will get easy!

Post # 12
Member
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis?  I don’t really budget per se ($X goes to this category and it’s a cap), but I do track every expense we make and compile it monthly.  This way we know how much it costs for us to live.  We’re doing this mainly for retirement guestimations. 

First we max out 5 retirement accounts (pre and post tax accounts).  Then we live on the rest.  Our checking does slowly grow some months, and slowly decline other months (equivalent to 4 months worth of living expenses sitting in our checking as of now).  I keep track our expenses and summarize them monthly into categories (housing, groceries, eating out, auto, health, clothes, misc, entertainment, wedding).  If we’re starting to eat out too much and that value looks kind of high, we’ll opt to cook at home more – which we do most of the time anyway.  We haven’t set any limits for ourselves in each category however, but we also don’t go overboard.

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week?  We get paid monthly, on the 1st of the month.  Bills are just paid before they are due.  It’s all autolinked to the checking.  We do pay in advance the car insurance to get a discount.  Other bills don’t have a perk to be paid in advance.  But yes, there is money in there before we get paid.

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? Yes, our checking has about 4 months worth of living expenses and our liquid savings (Roth IRAs) have about 8 months worth of expenses.  Roth IRAs are good because you can take out your own contributions penalty free.  We could live 12 months on savings.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?  Our “misc” category is for stuff like that.  On average we spend about $820/month on misc stuff which includes pet food, house stuff, Lowe’s visits, and random stuff.  If we bought a couch or TV then we lay off the other “misc” stuff.

 And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? No, because there’s about $800-1500 on each of our credit cards each month by the time they are due.  Everything goes on a CC if it can.  Then we get cash back.

Post # 13
Member
9550 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

First of allmy fiance and I live together but have not yet technically joined finances so the following answers are for my personal finances and/or our anticipated finances once we combine accounts.

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis?

Monthly although I haven’t stuck to a strict bidget in recent years

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings?

I keep at least several months of finances in checking at all times. It is easier for me since I don’t have to worry about my account bottoming out. And savings accounts are making so little these days I’m not motivated to get as much money as possible into savings, although this could change with interest rates in the future.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?

I keep 2 checking accounts and 2 savings accounts and several retirement accounts and a health savings account. My paycheck automatically divides between these accounts. I have one regular savings account for unexpected emergencies or for saving up for big ticket items and another saving account just for vacations because they’re my most favorite things ever. I also contribute to my retirement and HSA (even though I’m healthy now I know I will eventually use any money I can squirrel away for my health).

I have one checking account for “necessities” like rent, groceries, gas, utilities, etc. The checking account is my “fun” account and I use it for things like going out to dinner, buying clothes, movie tickets, etc. In my mind, if I have the money in my fun account then I can spend it on whatever I want. I’m fairly frugal natrually so I don’t spend it on a ton, so this is actually a way for me to encourage myself to treat myself to things from time to time because I know I’ve got the money for it. Household items are a bit up in the air but I generally sort them by necessity – microwave broke and it needs replacement and I use the “necessities” account, see cute new throw pillows or curtains and I use the “fun” account.

I realize that this is a crazy amount of accounts but it works for me. And I think at least the 2 checking accounts might work for you too. That way you can keep money in the “necessity” account and not have to worry about being able to meet each month’s payments but you can spend whatever is in your “fun” account without guilt. If you decide to go with this system, discuss with your fiance how much is going in each account. This can always be revisited in the future as you work with the system.

And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc?

Yes and No. I don’t freak out about money on a credit card because I always know I can pay it off. I use me credit card for everything for the points. However, if I had money left on the card and couldn’t pay it of and I had to leave it on to carry over, I would freak. My parents (and my dad in particular) drilled into me that paying insurance on credit cards is a huge waste of money and so I totally get your reaction to this, especially given your past. While freaking out isn’t always necessary, I think you are right to make sure you pay off your credit card bill each month in full.

One last thought. There is a great book out there call Financially Ever After all about finances in marriage. I’m sure there are others. Read that and I think it may help a lot.

Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis?

We budget on a monthly basis.  I have an excel spreadsheet that is basically my check register.  I enter all of our paycheck amounts and paydates for the month, then I subtract all of our bills on their due dates, forecasted out for the entire month of course, and then carry over the balance after savings to the next month.  I usually forecast this budget out (since we generally have the same bills and same paydates every month) a few months ahead so I can plan for goals like savings or large purchases.

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? 

Using our budgeting system, I pay our bills the week they’re due regardless of paydates or paychecks.  We do not live paycheck to paycheck anymore (we used to before we started budgeting the way we do).

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings?

We have somewhat of a cusion in checking – enough to cover the first week’s bills of the following month, before we get our first checks of the month.  We do not have any significant cusion in checking at all though.  We hold most extra money in savings.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..? 

For large projects, such as decorating an empty house,  I would budget it as we did for the wedding.  We would probably set aside money we would normally put in savings and purchase specific items per month until some deadline by which we would have purchased everything we need.  For small things like going to dinner and a movie, we use our spending money.  We budget $200/week for spending money for the both of us ($100 each) for things that are not normal expenses.  Things like going out to dinner, clothes, shoes, movies, smaller house decor and other random things are paid for using our spending money.

 And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc?

No, I’m not sure why I would.  I am very deliberate with what I use the credit card for.  I never pay for anything using the CC that I couldn’t just as easily use my debit card for.  I only use that thing to help improve our credit scores.  I pay it off weekly.

Post # 15
Member
9550 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@MsJ2theZ:  For the “how do you GET there” question: It’s a pretty simple but not fun answer. You live on bare basics for a period of time until you can be ahead by a month. Then you make sure you’re setting aside money not for this month, but the month after when budgeting.

Post # 16
Member
802 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis? Monthly. We both get paid every week, but we know how much we’re going to get paid so i’m able to do a monthly budget. Actually I made it before we moved out, and we’ve had the same one since. 

Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? We have four bills, one is due every week. We’re not ahead I just know that 1st week of the month I pay rent, 2nd week I pay water/electricty, 3rd week I pay the cable bill, 4th week our credit cards & insurance are due. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck but I guess we act like it because it’s easier for me to remember them that way, because they come in the mail that way 🙂

Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? Every month our bank takes a set ammount from the account (checkings) and moves it over to our Savings. We probably should set up our own retirement fund since our job doesnt offer it, right? Anyway we have that savings that we use for larger purchases or just incase we need something. We have another Savings account with a fairly large cushion in it that I inherited when I turned 18. Darling Husband knows if he took $1 out of that one we affectionetly call our “Life Money” he’d be killed lol it’s our downpayment on a house money.

How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..?  Darling Husband could care less about house things. This is where I come into play. Most girls like shoes, I’m a pillow hoarder. I love, love LOVE new house stuff. We have extra money each month so that is where I get to buy new stuff with, if either of us need to make a large purchase, like a new TV or Darling Husband needs leather (he makes and sells custom gun holsters) than we discuss that first.

And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? Okay here is where we suck. Darling Husband came to me with a lot of debt. Like $1000 on a dental credit card, and $2000 on a regular credit card. His dental credit card had an interest rate of THIRTY PRECENT. Whhaa?! So I put his balance on my credit card. Needless to say, we both have like…10x more than 300 on our cards. I’ve got like 2700, and he has about 1800. I pay my credit card bill at least twice a month, because I have no interest on it until September. So anything I can or have extra at the end of the month I pay off my card with. Darling Husband isn’t so on top of his and pays the minium once a month. Our credit cards literally make me depressed. 

But yes, if I had 300 on a credit card- I would freak the *@#% out because i’d be almost debt free. 

The topic ‘How do you budget?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors